Aviation

Boeing sounds alarm about virus impact on aviation

Boeing issued a stark warning Wednesday about the impact of the deadly coronavirus outbreak, saying there was “no question” it would hammer the aviation industry and the broader economy.

The virus has killed more than 1,100 people and infected tens of thousands in China, and spread to over two dozen other countries in what is now considered a global health emergency. Major airlines have halted flights in and out of China, where a lockdown has been imposed in the worst-affected areas, while several countries have banned arrivals from China.

“You have several global airlines that have limited their traffic in and out of China, that”s revenue,” said Ihssane Mounir, the US plane maker”s senior vice president of commercial global sales and marketing.

“You have business trips not happening, you have cargo not going in and out. “It will have an impact on the economy, it will have an impact on revenues, it will have an impact on these carriers… there”s no question about it.”

Mounir was speaking in Singapore to reporters at Asia”s biggest air show, which has seen over 70 exhibitors withdraw and a fall in visitor numbers due to virus fears. Singapore has reported 47 cases of the virus so far and has raised its health alert level to the same as during the 2002-2003 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak.

The vast exhibition centre hosting the four-day show has been unusually empty, pockmarked by deserted booths of companies who have pulled out.

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